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Judgment and criticism. It is a normal part of the human psyche. Our minds are constantly making meaning and evaluating our surroundings. We label things good or bad, even before we truly know how any given event will play out.

For example, there is Jocelyn, who lost her banking job unexpectedly. She worried that she would not be able to pay her bills. She fretted that she may never have a good job again. She was angry with the decision and felt it was unfair. Fast forward two months later and Jocelyn looks back and is grateful for the job loss. She took some much-needed time off to rest and recuperate from her demanding job. She is now feeling much more like herself. And, she has a new job and new career as a financial advocate and coach for women in transition that may have stemmed from job loss, divorce, or the loss of a spouse. She continues to use her financial experience in a new and exciting way. She is helping others who need it. Combining her expertise with her compassion for understanding the scary parts of being in transition, she feels fulfilled and living her life on purpose. This never would have happened without the “bad” experience of losing her job.

Self-judgment is often fueled by society

As humans, we can turn those negative opinions onto ourselves as well. Society and media likes to infer (or straight up tell us) that we will never measure up. From what I see in ads, television, and the news, I consciously and unconsciously think that I need to be thin, but not too thin. I need to look “presentable” in public. I need to dress in a feminine way, but not slutty. I look better with make-up, so I better put some on. All of these themes and more play out in many of our minds daily.

I got to thinking about this today as I reflected on a recent podcast, New Heart Healing, where I was a guest on the show. I received the recording that was published yesterday. Because I thought the podcast was purely audio and no video, I didn’t put on make-up for it, and I was wearing an old sweatshirt. The lighting was terrible. I’m not even sure I brushed my hair. Much to my dismay, I saw that I was on camera for the recording that was published on Rumble. I thought about hiding it. Not sharing it widely. Not putting it on my website. “Ew, I don’t look very professional. What will people think of that?” ran through my mind.

But authenticity is where it is at

And then I thought some more. One of the things I speak on in my workshops and talks I give is living authentically. How can I be an advocate for authentic living if I am afraid to show myself in all of my “imperfection”? I knew in that moment that sharing the podcast was the right thing to do for my growth. But there is a bigger reason for it too. We have enough celebrities that always look “perfect” when we see them. The media tends to revel in catching a celebrity off guard, not looking their best. But what if I decided to just be myself? Come as I am. Not judge myself on my looks and just show up authentically. So, I published the podcast. I shared it! This may not sound like a big deal to some, but for me and for some of you reading who internalized showing up with our best face forward, it’s huge. Perhaps I can be a small example for someone else to show up just as they are. So, it’s out there. I’m leaving it. So be it. I’m proud of what I had to say and I choose to let the my self-judgment go.  I hope you will view it and see and hear for yourself. I’d love to know your thoughts on this blog and the podcast. By the way, you can view my podcast appearance on New Heart Healing here. Host, Will, and I had a lovely conversation about about healing, the world, and spirituality.

Denise on New Heart Healing Podcast

After years and years of everybody commenting on the way I look and dress and being photographed, one starts to become self-conscious and starts to plan things more. You end up judging yourself more, what looks good and what doesn’t.


Do you want to live more authentically? Do you want to be more comfortable in your own skin? I recommend noticing and reflecting on your thoughts and self-critiques. How often does judgment and criticism get turned on yourself? What is it about specifically? Where in my past does this stem from? What can I do to overcome my self-doubt and harsh internal commentary? Journaling and meditating on these questions can be helpful to guide you to experience more freedom and joy in your life. If you would like to explore more ways to more fully accept yourself and step into your own genuine expression of your being. I’m available for spiritual coaching sessions to guide my clients to live the song of their soul and meet their big goals in life. You can learn more about and sign up for my spiritual coaching offerings here. You may also benefit from my workshops and other offerings to get you started.

I have found that the more I accept myself, I judge others less. I accept differences in others and embrace the uniqueness of others. I truly believe that if we all lived our lives from a place of authenticity and self-love, we would be living in a very different world. Join me, please, in helping create this “new Earth”!

Keep in mind that the tendency to be judgmental – toward yourself or another person – is a good barometer of how anxious or stressed out you are. Judging others is simply the flip side of judging yourself.

-Harriet Lerner

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